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bulk of the community have been reduced to a state of penury and demoralization, which is really most appalling to any individual possessing the ordinary sympathies which belong to the human heart, we recommend a perusal of the details given in the volumes showing the condition of the several parishes in England, published by order of the poor-law commissioners. These astounding facts led to the poor-law amendment act before referred to, which-like all attempts at remedy, after evils pervading the whole of the community have reached so great a height as not to admit of cure without an immediate increase of individual suffering-have occasioned great clamor and popular dissatisfaction. Recently, it has been proposed in Parliament to establish a stipendiary police force in many districts, for the purpose of preventing the incipient movements of popular commotion, instead of waiting until disturbances begin, and then calling out the regular standing army, to put down the people by bloodshed, as has been frequently done. The self-governing citizens of this republic may profit by the example afforded by the present condition of England, if they will only consider and remedy among themselves the causes which have brought on her aggravated and complicated internal disorders.
Besides the superabundance of currency, great poverty has been produced in all ages, and among most nations, by arbitrary depreciations of the value of money bearing the same nominal appellation. Previous to the introduction of the credit system, by which States have endeavoured to charge the burden of present profligacy and extravagance upon future generations, legal depreciation of the measure of value was the only mode by which governments were able to extricate themselves from the embarrassments occasioned by their prodigality or their necessities. What an extent of poverty and suffering was imposed upon the most patriotic and public-spirited of our citizens by the legal depreciation of the continental currency during the revolutionary war! How much was the wealth and prosperity of most of the colonies retarded, previous to that event, by their short-sighted policy in adoption of schemes of relief by the issue and subsequent depreciation of their paper currency! By these measures, our forefathers, from ignorance of economical science, and consulting only the wants of the passing hour, kept their commerce at the lowest ebb which their actual necessities would possibly permit, while a more just and sagacious policy in relation to currency-the very life-blood of all extensive trafficwould undoubtedly have made them comparatively wealthy, and relieved them from many of their embarrassments. They have ever found an excuse in the example of most other nations. An English pound sterling was originally a pound weight of standard silver. From time to time it has been depreciated in consequence of the necessities of the State, until its value is now fixed at less than one-third
of that quantity. The shilling of Scotland, which was in the first instance an ounce of standard silver, is now but a penny sterling. The legal depreciation of the measure of value in France and Spain has been still greater.
The suicidal attempt made by many of the merchants, under the influence of the combined action of the banks, in 1837, to compel the public officers to receive in payment into the public Treasury the depreciated and dishonored notes of banks, in direct violation of the law, was the most recent and extraordinary instance of a general and deliberate design to depreciate the practical standard of value which has been presented to the reflection of the country in an enlightened age. In contemplating this scheme-the vast and simultaneous efforts made to carry it into execution—and the effect which these measures produced upon the moral feelings of the community-it seems almost incredible that intelligent men, who could not have been so ignorant as not to perceive the consequences of such a step upon the security of property, should have suffered themselves to be transported beyond the restraints imposed by common justice and ordinary good faith among mankind. That blind partisan zeal should lead any men possessing intelleet and property to surrender themselves and their families to the tender mercies of paper money speculators, is sufficiently marvellous. But that merchants, worthy of a name in that honorable profession, should earnestly co-operate in endeavouring to destroy the only foundation on which all commercial intercourse rests, will be commemorated as the strongest instance of infatuation which human weakness has lately exhibited. With the experience of our own country, previous to the adoption of the Constitution, before them-with the more recent and disastrous example of England in full view-and with the anarchy, disorder, and entire destruction of commerce which the banishment of sound currency produced in France and South America within their knowledge-those who profess to be the leading class in this country desperately determined to involve all our productive interests in a common destruction, in the hope of obtaining political power. Can it be a matter of surprise that such men have distrusted the permanency of a Republican form of Government?
The measures adopted to produce and continue the suspension of specie payments by the banks have created deep apprehension of the consequences of the progress which several of the States have made in contracting public debts. These debts now amount to between one and two hundred millions of dollars. A great portion of this amount was incurred by those States for the direct benefit of banks, and nearly the whole balance is managed and controlled by those institutions. Under the plausible and fertile contrivances of speculators, for enriching themselves at the expense of the industry
of the people, it is exceedingly probable that within a few years this vast amount of State debts will be doubled, if not trebled. The rage for borrowing seems to have no limits, excepting that which may be imposed by the caution which experience may teach those among whom paper currency circulates. By the Constitution these States cannot be sued. The payment of the interest as well as principal of these debts must, therefore, rest upon the same confidence as the redemption of paper currency, which, within two years, has universally failed. During the last session of Congress, Mr. Webster predicted that another general explosion was not far distant-and his sources of information on this subject are unquestionable.
Whenever it shall become necessary to provide for these debts by direct taxation upon the people of the States by whose authority they were created, what will be the result? The tax-consumers are not the governing power in this country, as in England. The tax-payers here possess uncontrollable political sway. The money to be replaced by taxation has been generally dissipated for the advantage of others than those who will be required to pay it. If they were the same individuals, the questions which relate to borrowing and spending are wholly different in their practical influence upon the imagination of most men, from those of taxation and payment.
It is not for us to attempt to foretell the course, which may be pursued, by the indebted States of the Union, whenever a crisis shall befal their finances. It is clear that, the Constitution prohibiting any State from making any thing but gold and silver a tender in payment, the people cannot relieve themselves from debt, as many of the States had done at different periods, before the adoption of that sacred guarantee of public and private rights. Whether any avenue of escape will be afforded by the prohibition against issuing bills of credit-most of the State debts being, substantially, in that shape-may possibly, hereafter, become an important question.
We hope, in view of this interesting subject, that those who have taken such unwearied pains to corrupt and debase public opinion, in relation to public obligations and the measure of value, may be induced to perceive the necessity of elevating the character of their ethical doctrines. Should the disorganizing and anarchical principles, which, within the last two or three years, have been boldly promulgated under the sanction of imposing names, become generally received among our citizens, and produce their intended effect upon the governing power, we fear that many important enterprises, on which immense sums have been lavished, must come to an untimely end. None can deprecate more sincerely than ourselves any measures or doctrines which tend to impair the public faith either of the United States, or the several States. It cannot, how
ever, be concealed from the view of all men of observation, that the profligacy which the paper system has introduced among us, has already made deep inroads upon the resources of some of the States, and bids fair to prove a heavy source of future taxation. Whether another generation of legislators will be inclined to see themselves and their constituents impoverished, without making a serious struggle to relieve themselves from the burdens which have been, in so many cases, improvidently imposed, cannot be foreseen. The most prudent and advisable course undoubtedly is, to avoid any occasion for such efforts by forecast and economy in all public expenditures. The experience of the English nation, in the accucumulation of debt, ought not to be disregarded.
A general condition of poverty and degradation cannot be fastened upon the people of this country, by a system of exorbitant taxes levied upon the many to support the luxury of the few. No standing armies can be kept on foot, among us, for the purpose of repressing the desperation of want. The greatest happiness of the greatest number is the only safe maxim, and, in the long run, will prove as advantageous to the security of the rich as it will be beneficial to the comfort of the poor and the industrious.
Come, stand the nearest to thy country's sire,
Sublimer far than Kings by birth may claim,
And battled 'gainst the wrong; thy holiest aim
Misconstrued motives and unmeasured blame.
MARCH 4, 1839.
THE HEART'S TRUST.
BY MRS. DA PONTE.
I trust in thee! I trust in all
That doth my mind, my soul enthral
Truth lives within thy thoughtful eye;
Whene'er I turn to thee.
Nay, take not thou away thy hand!
And speak this hidden truth;—
Thou art my dream of youth.
And though I may not, must not show
Feelings that from thy sight I hide,
I hear thy voice when others speak,
It comes in hours of revelry,
In midnight dreams, in midnight glee
I drink the sound! And then they deem
Of mirth and levity!
Well do I feign joy's mad excess,